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Emergency Rooms

  • By: Lilia Malkin-Dubins
  • In: Encyclopedia of Disaster Relief
  • Edited by: K. Bradley Penuel & Matt Statler
  • Subject:Public Health (general), Public Policy (general)

The term emergency room (ER) usually refers to a designated area of a hospital where life-threatening illness or injury, as well as other medical conditions requiring rapid medical attention, are treated. As the complexity of presenting conditions, available treatments, and physician sub-specialization has increased, former one-room ER facilities have grown in size and diversified services to become areas encompassing several tens of thousands of square feet, making the term emergency department (ED) more widely used. Other terms used globally include various combinations of the words casualty, accident, and emergency, as well as the more advanced trauma centers.

The ED also serves as a healthcare facility's access point for patients who have limited access to primary medical care providers, for financial, logistical, or other reasons. In most ...

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